Attorney General Mahbubey Alam described yesterday's High Court verdict in the Narayanganj seven-murder cases as satisfactory while the victims' families said they would have been fully satisfied had the punishment handed down on all the accused by the lower court been upheld.
"This is an exemplary punishment. We're relieved," Mahbubey Alam said after the court upheld the capital punishment of 15 convicts and commuted death penalty of 11 others to life imprisonment.
However, the HC upheld jail sentences of the other accused.
On the death sentences of Rab officials, the attorney general said the Rapid Action Battalion is an elite and disciplined force. The entire law enforcement agency should not be blamed for criminal offences of some of its dishonest members, he added.
Responding to a query, he said he would think of an appeal seeking death of the 11 accused whose punishment had been commuted to life term after going through the full verdict.
Shamsunnahar Nupur, wife of victim Jahangir Alam, said, "I'm happy with the verdict. But why did the number of death convicts come down to 15 from 26?
“The [death] convicts should be executed as soon as possible."
Selina Islam, wife of slain Narayanganj City Corporation panel mayor Nazurl Islam, also said she was happy.
However, her father Shahidul Islam said he had expected the HC to uphold the lower court's verdict fully.
"I am not so happy with the verdict. The accused whose sentences were commuted are Nur Hossain's cohorts and may continue their activities from jail through their accomplices," Shahidul said.
Shakhawat Hossain, a lawyer of the plaintiff at a Narayanganj court, said, "Not only me, the entire Narayanganj people would have been happier had the punishment given by the lower court been upheld.
“We have full faith in the court and we hope that the highest court would take steps to execute the verdict."
Public Prosecutor Wajed Ali of the Narayanganj court said the HC verdict should be executed immediately.
Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury, defence counsel for expelled Rab officials, Tareque Sayeed Mohammad and Masud Rana, said, “Family members of my clients expressed their desire to file appeals against the verdict with the SC.”
He added that both his clients had not been directly involved and that they were still saying it was the superior authority who gave them the order to arrest Nazrul.
SRM Lutfor Rahman Akhand, a lawyer for Nur Hossain, said he and his client were aggrieved and so would file an appeal with the SC.
Prime accused Nur Hossain's younger brother Nur Uddin blamed the media for his brother's present situation, saying the case proceedings had been expedited due to media pressure.
His family and lawyers could not prepare well for the legal battle for lack of time, he told reporters.